Leader calls for swift action on environmental problems
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has called on Iranian officials to immediately address the problems facing residents of the southern Khuzestan Province, who are grappling with difficulties caused by natural phenomena.
On Monday, Ayatollah Khamenei drew attention to the plight of people in southern Iran who are suffering from the aftermath of floods, triggered by heavy downpours, and dust storms, emphasizing that these issues caused by natural disasters “are truly heartbreaking,” Press TV reported.
The Leader said the officials are duty-bound to deal with the problems through hard work and solidarity, and redouble their efforts to find a “certain cure” for them.
Ayatollah Khamenei described flooding as a “great calamity,” which causes heavy losses for people and their families, saying “it is a duty and a necessity” to provide aid to the flood-stricken.
The government officials, who have people on their minds, cannot remain unmoved and indifferent in the face of such problems, he added.
Last week, torrential rain triggered flooding across the south, from Khuzestan Province near the Iraqi border to Sistan-Baluchestan Province on the border with Pakistan.
Khuzestan had already been reeling from sandstorms, which are said to originate in Iraq and Saudi Arabia
The recent downpours have washed filaments of dust and sand into power transmission equipment, leading to long outages and affecting water supplies, a situation which has disrupted normal life in Ahvaz, the provincial capital, and other cities in the province.
On Saturday, President Rouhani attended an emergency session of the Crisis Management Center in Tehran, where he tasked his deputy, Es’haq Jahangiri, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli and Khuzestan Governor Gholamreza Shariati with resolving the crisis at the earliest.
He also expressed sympathy with those affected and assured local people that the government was determined to address the root cause of the problems and deal with environmental issues.
Iranians in the western and southwestern provinces that border Iraq are facing a growing trend in the influx of fine particles generated by drought-hit marshlands in neighboring countries.
The disruptive dust storms push pollution in those border areas to alarming levels, raising health concerns.
The particles, carried by winds, can penetrate the lungs and enter the bloodstream, causing serious diseases such as lung cancer, asthma and heart problems.